I must admit that when I first started losing weight I was pleased. I dropped from a pudgy hundred and twenty-five down to one-eighteen in a month, and kept on going. One hundred and five, and my breasts disappeared. By the time they hauled me off to the Sanatorium, a feverish, weepy, ninety-pound weakling, I was out of love with elegant bones and scared that I was coming out through my skin.
A teenager in the 1970s, Gwen is stuck in a tuberculosis sanatorium with only her journal and the occasional illicit cigarette to keep her sane. Her twisted sense of humour helps her deal with invasive medical procedures, oversensitive friends, and dictatorial nurses, but nothing can spring her from prison.
Not that life outside would be much better. Gwen is haunted by the dark and violent turn her life took just before she got sick. Her family has been shattered, and Gwen is fighting hard--with all the stubbornness and humour she can muster--not to be shattered too.